Gluten-free scones made with brown rice flour, have endless possibilities for added flavors. Lemon, blackberry, rosemary, almonds? All that and a moist, tender crumb.
This recipe should be a go-to for every home baker. It’s endlessly adaptable and very flexible. The scone dough can be made well ahead and baked straight from frozen when you’re ready to serve. Scones have been the top-selling item at our bakeshops since day one. People love our scones as they’re rich and satisfying yet not too sweet and they’re perfect any time of day with a warm drink. A few of my favorite flavor combinations are: blueberry-lemon, blackberry-Earl Grey, apple-spice, chocolate-ginger, and cranberry-orange.–Heather Hardcastle
How long will my scones last?
Often, gluten-free scones can be a little drier than desired but, if not overbaked, these ones—because of the healthy amount of butter and heavy cream—should stay pretty tender for up to 3 days. Otherwise, they can be frozen, before or after baking, for up to 1 month.
☞ Table of Contents
- 3 cups brown rice flour plus more for shaping
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter cold
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) for baking
- 1 to 2 Mix-Ins of your choice (see below)
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar or crystal sugar
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit such as apricots, cranberries, or raisins
- 1 cup chopped or sliced nuts such as pecans or almonds
- 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme
- 2 tablespoons lemon or orange zest
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together brown rice flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum on low speed to combine, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Cut the cold butter into 1-inch (25 mm) cubes. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse meal, 2 to 3 minutes more. The butter should be the size of peas.
- Add the eggs and continue mixing until just incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and comes together in the bowl, 2 minutes more.
- Add the mix-ins and mix very briefly, just to combine. You want the nuts and/or fruit to remain intact. If you overmix the dough, you will break the fruit and discolor the dough.
☞TESTER TIP: If your dough is very thick, you may find it easier to fold the mix-ins into the dough by hand, using a wooden spoon.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized rounds and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To shape the scones, flour your counter or cutting board generously with brown rice flour. Using floured hands, pat the chilled dough ball into an 8-inch (20-cm) disk, roughly 1 inch (25 mm) thick. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, form the scones. Cut the dough disk in half, then cut each half in half (you now have 4 pieces), then cut each quarter in half yet again to form 8 wedges per round.
☞TESTER TIP: A bench scraper is also useful for transferring the delicate scones to the baking sheet.
- Place the scones 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and dust them with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.
- Bake for 18 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake until the scones are lightly brown on the top and feel just set to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the sheet pan before removing. Serve immediately with butter and jam or freeze in zip-top bags for up to 1 month.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These gluten-free scones were tender and delicious with just the right level of sweetness for my taste. I found these to be every bit as tender as gluten-filled scones. I did use my favorite brand of brown rice flour for pastry: Authentic Foods Ultra Premium Superfine Brown Rice Flour, which I think makes a huge difference in my GF baking. The dough was fast and simple to put together and was easy to work with.
I added the zest of a lemon and about a cup each of chopped dried apricots and chopped pecans. After mixing the add-ins in my KitchenAid stand mixer for a little less than a minute, I ended up working the add-ins a bit more with a wooden spoon because this dough is thick and it was starting to strain the motor a little. Next time, I’ll probably make a confectioner’s sugar lemon juice drizzle to fancy them up a bit. This dough is endlessly adaptable and would be great with almost any fresh or dried fruit.
This recipe was fantastic! It came together really easily and created just wonderful little clouds of gluten-free scones. It wasn’t as biscuity as glutenous scones, but I almost liked them better. They were moist, tender, and the perfect balance of salt, sugar, and butter. I used 2 tablespoons of rosemary and lemon zest as my mix-ins. These will be on heavy rotation for sure.
As I am not an experienced gluten-free baker, I didn’t know what to expect with gluten-free scones baked with brown rice flour. I was pleasantly surprised by the tenderness and texture of these sweet, buttery scones. I see how versatile this base recipe is and look forward to trying it with some of the other suggested combinations, especially the blackberry and Earl Grey.
The only change I would make is using fresh fruit and making smaller rounds so my finished scones are thicker than 1-inch. I used frozen raspberries which created a very wet, (slightly pink) dough so maybe this is why they didn’t rise as high as I would have liked. Nevertheless, my family loved the results and the 24 scones did not last long. Additionally, they didn’t notice that they were baked with brown rice flour.
I’m on a gluten-free kick and this recipe for gluten-free scones has reinvigorated faith in my new diet. Ingredients are normally found in a gluten-free home and easily found on Amazon, if not in yours. These fresh hot scones are so similar to regular flour scones, especially when topped with clotted cream, jam and strawberries. Very simple to make with fantastically thorough directions. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this for a gluten-free friend or bake sale. A touch grainier if you aren’t used to these flours, but over all a great flavor and crumb. Best served warm.
Originally published April 6, 2021